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Ask Max: A replacement suggestion for the Apple plastic keyboard

Asked on 12/05/2007:

Love the beast (2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo/ 3 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM/260gig HD), hate the keyboard.

I have gone through four of them (wired, not wireless) trying to find one that doesn't repeat keys and spaces--yyou knnow; liike this.

I have adjusted the preferences for the keyboard stroke and repeat rate ad nauseam, zapped the PRAM, changed USB ports, lit sage smudge sticks (OK, I drew the line on that one), and even bought the Macally iKeySlim which, while the repeating key phenomenon disappeared with it, introduced it's own "qualities" I couldn't tolerate (like my constantly hitting the ALL CAPS KEY AND ENDING UP SHOU....excuse me: ...shouting at everybody.

So I ignominiously returned to my trusty keyboard that came with the G4 tower the iMac replaced. You know; the black one with the years of worn down, buffed from overuse keys.

Problem solved, though certainly not gracefully. All in all, a very unApple-like experience.

So it appears we bought a damn nice computer whose keyboard isn't worth the membrane it types upon. Isn't that a bit like buying a car without wheels?

Apple won't acknowledge there was a problem, but rather just kept sending me new ones after ascertaining I did all the required rituals (see above).

Head over to the Apple discussion board. You will find I am in good (though miserable) company, although I am sure we would all rather not have this in common.

Touch typists, hunt-and-peckers--it didn't matter. The defective keyboards didn't pick favorites. No, there were far too many "Hey, that's happening to me too! I heard the iKeySlim is the only workaround!" for me to labor under the assumption that I was some lonely soul who forgot how to type. Go ahead; check it out!

So I made my case on the boards, and to Apple. To date, still no acknowledgement from Apple TS that there ever is a problem, that there ever WAS a problem. Apparently, hundreds of iMac users just simply lost the ability to type.

So oh wise one: What gives?


Well I would join in with you with complaints about the plastic iMac keyboard, that is if I hadn't left mine in the box. Although I have not had the functional problems that you have, I don't like the way the older Apple keyboards work. I used the Macally iKeySlim from my previous Mac from day one with my 2.16GHz iMac. Recently I replaced my Macally keyboard with Apple's new Aluminum keyboard.

I love this new Apple keyboard and think it is worth every penny I paid for it. Apple is never going to admit that they did not get perfection on the last model keyboard but at least they have replaced it with a truly outstanding evolved version.

I also dislike the caps lock feature of any keyboard. Despite the occasional angry email, it serves no purpose. Well luckily you can turn it off in OS X 10.4. Go to System Preferences and select the "Keyboard & Mouse" section. Under the Keyboard tab click on the "Modifier Keys" button. Change the Caps Lock popup menu to "No Action" and click on the OK button. Now you will no longer write half a sentence in all Caps.

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